Weight Loss Secrets: How a Personal Trainer Stays in Shape
In this blog post, personal trainer Sven shares with you how he stays fit and trim despite stress.
I don’t believe in rigid diets
I’m not a fan of rigid diets. The “cheat day” comes from the bodybuilder scene. Having one day per week when you can eat anything you want, can be quite motivational. Of course, it’s incredible how much people actually eat on this one day. That’s why I skip this approach and stick to the 80/20 rule.
My personal weight loss tip
The 80/20 rule. If you eat a healthy and balanced diet 80% of the day (or in general), then it’s okay to cheat the other 20% of the time. If you’re in good shape, your body can handle it anyway. But the choice is up to you.
These are my eating “quirks”…
In the morning, I always drink my coffee, for instance, with a dash of coconut oil to get my metabolism going. In general, they’re little things. I love to eat farmer’s cheese and chunky cream cheese. I always keep some of this cheese around and can eat it either sweetened with a little agave nectar or with a delightful oil. I prefer this to granola or power bars.
Breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day
I’m a big fan of eating a hearty breakfast. It has to be nourishing, something like oat flakes, oatmeal, etc. After a good breakfast, my energy levels remain steady throughout the day.
What I always pack in my travel bag…
I always carry hard-boiled eggs and chunky cream cheese, which are easy to pack. And then, yeah, a couple of granola or power bars, too. Of course, I also like to eat apples and bananas as a snack. The big meals aren’t quite so easy. Depending on your destination, I try to buy something substantial at the airport or train station. I have to admit I’m a big fan of Asian food. I think I could live off of roasted vegetables, chicken and rice. Add a delicious sauce and it’s perfect.
How I try to keep myself in shape
I consider it a great privilege that I can do sports, have fun doing them and, most importantly, want to do them. That’s why it is really, really crucial for me to incorporate them into my daily routine. If I know I won’t have any time during the day, then I prefer to get up an hour earlier so I can exercise or even do my workout at midnight, which, in terms of effective training, probably isn’t the best, but it’s what I need to find my balance and work off stress.
“I think I even have a scale at home…”
If I use one, it is only for consultations or clients when I want to check their current weight. But I don’t think I’ve used one in ages. I’m no great fan of the scale. You could say, “Well, of course not, you don’t need it.” But I think the focus is too much on numbers, which can really drive you crazy. And this leads to the frequent complaint, “I’ve been working out for quite a while now, but I haven’t lost a single pound.” To which I usually reply, “Yeah, but how do you feel?” “Well, actually, I feel pretty good.” So which one is more important to you? Would you rather achieve some arbitrary number, or feel better at the moment mentally and physically? You can influence your body up to a certain point. It might be that all of a sudden things take off and you start to shed pounds. But it can also happen that your weight remains the same and you are surprised that despite everything you build muscle, look good or feel great. That is why a scale is one tool among many, and whether it makes sense to use one or not, depends on the training goal.
A scale is not for everyone….
“I’ve been working out for a long time now, and my scale won’t budge, or it tells me that I weigh even more than I used to.” These are common complaints that I’m faced with all the time. This can all be explained, that’s not the problem. There’s no need for a layperson to be interested in the science behind the phenomenon. But it’s a very difficult topic. I think it can be a motivational factor, but it all depends on the particular person. If you’re trying to help someone, for instance, who, excuse my expression, is quite obese, then it’s definitely a motivational factor because you’ll structure their training plan so they’re sure to lose weight. But if you’re working with someone who is not heavily overweight, they may not worry about it as much, and put on more muscle mass than lose weight. A tricky subject…
The thing about carbohydrates
I more or less come out of endurance sports. That’s why I can understand the other viewpoint. As an endurance athlete, you’re constantly consuming carbohydrates. You can eat as much as you want, but it has to be long-chain carbohydrates. On the other hand, I’ve learned from strength and conditioning training that I can get by with less carbs or less appetite for carbs. So I think that it really depends on the content of the training session. But a healthy mix is always good, and currently there seems to be a never-ending stream of extreme diets like paleo. I believe that it’s important to eat as balanced a diet as possible and that your body will tell you what it needs. If you go for a long run and then only eat protein, you won’t be able to keep up your training. There are different types of people, so you need to take that into account.
What keeps me fit and trim
It may sound obvious, but it’s consistency and regularity. Once you’ve got someone to the point where exercise is a regular part of their day, then you know they’ve made it. Then you know it works. Or you feel this addiction. Yeah, I can admit it, I’m addicted! Lucky for me that I have a healthy addiction, but you can also overdo it. I prefer this extreme, however, because your body will stop you there at the threshold and say, “OK, not today.” But, in general, success depends on regularity.
Sven Friedrich, who demonstrates most of the exercises in the Runtastic Results app, has been working as a personal trainer, conditioning coach and sports therapist for 13 years. He is also an expert on fascia and nutrition. Sven’s motto is “Stay focused & go for it!”